Listen to the Haitians Opposed to Outside Intervention

When there is such strong opposition from Haitian civil society, the case for intervention completely collapses.

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The Haitian interim prime minister recently requested U.S. military assistance following the assassination of the president, but there is significant popular opposition to having US forces in Haiti:

Intellectuals and members of Haiti’s civil society quickly criticized a call by Haitian officials for the United States to send in troops, citing earlier interventions by foreign powers and international organizations that further destabilized Haiti and left a trail of abuses.

“We do not want any US troops on Haiti’s soil,” Monique Clesca, a Haitian pro-democracy activist and former United Nations official, said in a post Friday on Twitter. “The de facto prime minister Claude Joseph does not have any legitimacy to make such a request in our name. No, No & No.”

US intervention in Haiti would be a bad idea even if there were broader popular support for it. When there is such strong opposition from Haitian civil society, the case for intervention completely collapses. The US supported Moïse before his death, so it is unlikely that US forces would be welcomed by the people that protested against his rule. That could make a US military presence in Haiti a cause of more instability. Because Joseph is not seen as legitimate by many of his countrymen, they will not recognize his authority to invite foreign forces into the country. US forces would be and would be perceived as invaders and occupiers. In my latest piece on Haiti, I said that we need to think about what purpose an intervention would serve:

Is the purpose of an outside intervention really to protect the country from disorder, or is it to prop up the political leaders that have thoroughly failed their people?

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Daniel Larison is a weekly columnist for Antiwar.com and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.